Readers are sometimes born, and other times they’re made. I feel like I was a mix of both. I have a vast imagination that would have led me to wanting to discover new worlds that existed only in books, but I was also heavily influenced by my mom and her love of reading. So for pretty much my entire life, I’ve been a reader. Sure, there have been periods of my life where reading wasn’t a huge part of it, but I still managed a few books a year.
Most people that don’t like to read, from my experience, are ones who just haven’t found the right book. Though there are plenty of times when someone honestly has a harder time reading whether from dyslexia or the fact that they just don’t retain much through reading. Then there are people who want to be readers, but too much else gets in the way. So if you’re one of those people, then here are some ways you can get into books.
How to Be a Reader
Make the time
This is the biggest issue. A lot of us feel like we don’t have time because of work, school, social life, and other hobbies/activities we’re interested in. However, if you look hard enough, you can find increments of time that you can dedicate to reading. My personal best time of day is before going to bed. I usually have 1-3 hours before I need to turn the lights off depending on the day.
However, some people are early birds. If you have some uninterrupted time in the morning, you can easily set that time off to read for a bit. Lunch breaks are also a great time to read… if you’re not sharing it with other coworkers that want to talk the entire time.
Quantity doesn’t matter
Whether you take months to read one book or read two a week, you’re a reader. People have different reading speeds and depending on what you read, it can take longer than other books. It also depends on how much time you have to read. People like myself, with no family to take care of, have more time than a parent with kids.
You don’t have to read the classics
I can count on one hand how many classics I’ve read (okay, maybe two, but it’s under 10). For the most part, it was in school that I’ve read these, and honestly? I hated it. The only classics that I’ve enjoyed wholly were the ones that I read by my own doing. If you have an interest of reading all the classics, then great. But if not, it’s not a prerequisite to be a reader (or bookworm).
The Right Place
Finding the right spot for reading can be important. Some people can read anywhere, but I find that it helps to have a comfy, well lit space to really be able to dive into whatever book I’m reading. As of now my favorite place to read is my bed, but I’m also one of those adaptable readers that can read on the treadmill, in the car, etc.
Not everyone likes to carry around a book, or even finds that the act of reading works for them. Using Kindle/Overdrive/etc. allows you to bring your books anywhere so you don’t have to fret about taking heavy books on a trip or making your work bag heavier. Then of course some people prefer audiobooks for when they run, commute, or do chores. I applaud these people because I can never focus on an audiobook unless I really put effort into it.
Make it Social
Reading is more fun when you have bookish friends. I love communicating with all the bookworms that live in the Book Twitter and Bookstagram communities. There’s always great discussions and love going around between us all, despite our differences in what we read. I’m also a big user of Goodreads, though I will admit it’s more for keeping track of books and finding new ones to read. Still, there are groups you can join there to have more specified discussions that you can easily get back to.
Use the Library and Ask the Librarians
I’m a librarian, so of course I’ll say to go to the library. What’s magical about the library is that you can find the perfect book that you didn’t know you were looking for. Browsing the shelves is always a nice little activity because you never know what you’ll find. If you’re stuck on what to read and want some recommendations, the librarians will always be able to help! It’s basically a superpower.
See? Being a reader is easy. Honestly though, the most important thing about “being a reader” is just to start reading. I love being a reader and being able to help patrons at work find the next book that they’ll love. While being a librarian is much more than books, giving reader’s advisory is my favorite part of the job. Just as well, the book community on social media is full of awesome people and that is a reason alone to become a reader like us… it’s the dark side, but we have books. What more could you want?